Lately I’ve been talking about batch cooking. I’ve been doing batch cooking for a long time! It’s something I used to do when I first lived on my own in my apartment in Paris overlooking a gorgeous river. I was working in an accounting office at my first real job. I had felt like a had a busy life. I dated more often, I went out on Friday and Saturday nights with my girlfriends, and I went to the gym on a regular basis. Even with that “busy” life of mine I would make homemade meals as often as possible. For me, that was achievable through batch cooking.
To make my life easier I would cook staples in batches and eat them through the week. My usual staple was rice. I would use a steam cooker to make that. I would also cook multiple chicken breasts and chop them up and use them in my salads for lunch at work. I loved how this made a quick dinner after the gym. Now, as someone who strives to shop through local farmers I can’t go to a farmer and or to a health food store and buy free range chicken breasts…. My only option is to buy either a whole chicken or oddly enough I can buy free range chicken thighs but forget about the other parts. For example, if I want chicken wings I can get those only as organic. I buy whole chickens and they always come frozen which forces me to cook it all. #ProblemsOfArealfoodie
This brings me to the benefits of cooking a whole chicken! I thought at first it would be a burden. When I was younger I only ate the white meat and I literally would throw out all the dark meat. I hated the taste and I could afford to waste it. Not anymore, have you looked at the price of free range/pastured chicken! Rule 1 ~ No wasting anymore! I use the meat from the chicken to make chicken salad, chicken BLT wraps with homemade mayo, chicken fried faux rice, and anything else my little heart desires. Bottom line, make your life easy and roast a whole chicken for hassle free lunches/dinners throughout the week.
BATCH COOKING ~ PART 1: ROAST A CHICKEN
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Season the chicken by sprinkling salt, pepper and if you wish paprika all over the bird and inside the cavity of the bird. Rub the seasoning all over to make sure it is applied evenly.
- Line the bottom of a roasting pan with parchment paper (for easy clean up).
- Place a thermometer in the chicken between the breast and the thigh.
- Place the chicken in the roasting pan breast side up,
- Cook for 20 minutes.
- Then turn the heat to 375 degrees F. and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Once you turn the heat down start basting the chicken about every 20 minutes.
- The chicken is done when the thermometer reads an internal temperature of 180 degrees F. The juices of the chicken will also be clear.
- Let the cooked chicken rest for about 20 minutes before cutting into it.